S.Pritchin: The Russians are leaving again. It’s impossible to live in Kyrgyzstan.
The complex political and economic situation in Kyrgyzstan remains the main reason for the Russian population’s departure to the historical homeland.
The situation in Kyrgyzstan has been extremely tense for 10 months after the revolution. The new republican authorities have not yet been able to cope with the political and socio-economic crisis that has escalated after the March “tulip” revolution.
This state of affairs aggravates the life of national minorities, including the Russian population of the republic. In the six months that have passed since the revolution, according to the local office of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation, almost 9.5 thousand Russians left Kyrgyzstan, and the growth of emigration was almost 50%. According to the head of the office Yuri Ermolaev: “Today about 70 people turn to us daily, but the most difficult time was April last year, when every day it was necessary to take up to 400 people.”
Most of the Slav population of the republic is subject to migratory moods. There are a number of reasons for this. In the Kyrgyz economy, a catastrophic situation has developed. Bishkek themselves joke that they have the most environmentally friendly city in the world, because it is located in the mountains and … it does not work any industrial enterprise. After the March revolution, radical changes for the better did not happen.
On the contrary, the campaign to find traces of economic interests of the family of Askar Akayev, coupled with night looting, finally undermined investors’ hopes for improving the business climate in the country. Moreover, in Kyrgyzstan there is a total redistribution of power and property – owners of newspapers, television channels, industrial enterprises and markets change. In recent months, the most popular newspaper in the republic, Vecherniy Bishkek, the non-governmental television channel KOORT, the Kara-Keche coal mine in the north of the country and the largest in its South market in Kara-Suu, have actually been seized. The situation around the largest cellular company Bitel, which is claimed by Russian VimpelCom, MTS, is unclear. In this situation, national minorities, and, above all, Russians, are at risk of remaining on the sidelines of life. One of the teachers of the Kirghiz-Russian Slavic University, a Kyrgyz by nationality, in an interview with the author, said: “I strongly recommend that all my Russian friends in the republic leave, and as soon as possible, the resulting redistribution of property will not bring anything good to them. prospects to take a worthy place in society, and in a real threat of loss of property. ” According to eyewitnesses, during the outbreak of marauding in March in Bishkek, many Russians were preparing to attack their apartments and houses from marauders. But, fortunately, it cost, the latter were more interested in various stores.
The situation is aggravated by nationalist slogans, which are heard in Kyrgyzstan more often. Recently, similar rhetoric is heard from the lips of high-ranking officials. The phrase of the current vice-premier Adakhan Madumarov is known, who in one of his speeches declared: “Kyrgyzstan is a house for the Kirghiz, all the rest in it are lodgers.” After the revolution, leaflets with the following content began to appear in Bishkek: “Kyrgyz, do not buy housing from Russians, very soon they will run away from here, and you can get their apartments almost for nothing, at the price of two cakes.”
Parents of 20-year-old Alexey sold the house in Jalalabad region for $ 150, i.�. at the price of a music center. “Just the nationalistic sentiments in the south of the country made our life impossible there,” says the young man. A 20-year-old student of the Kyrgyz National University, Vladimir Prihodko, agrees with him: “Today in Osh (a regional center in the south of the republic) a person of Slavic appearance is dangerous to appear in the city even in the daytime – there is a real threat of an attack from radical young people. it is not necessary to count at all. ”
There is a feature of building a career of Russians in the republic. Being a professional, and even better indispensable in your business – the only chance to succeed. But even in this case, any Russian has a career limit because of his nationality. Therefore, many highly qualified specialists, Russians by nationality, work on the posts of experts, consultants, deputies – that is, people who provide the work of an institution or enterprise, but lack independence and the possibility of further growth.
The situation with obtaining education becomes more complicated. Kirghiz-Russian Slavic University. B. Yeltsin was created in the mid-90s so that Russians in the republic could receive a quality education in their native language. But today this most prestigious high school in the republic is not affordable for most of the Russian population. From year to year the proportion of Kyrgyz students in the university is growing. Practically there are no chances for admission of newcomers from the remote places. There is a situation where it is impossible for Russian children to get a good higher education in the republic, which automatically casts doubt on their successful future.
Without education, you can only go to the trade. But here they occupy only their specific niches, for example, the sale of books. The book seller Tatyana says: “Today books are in demand, but mostly Russian, because in Kyrgyzstan they do not print anything, even textbooks for schools.” But we (small entrepreneurs) have the opportunity to work only with small wholesale, making purchases from major suppliers books to the republic, so the key to success is good relations with the supplier, and this is usually Kyrgyz. ” In general, Russian sellers and entrepreneurs are difficult to meet even in the markets of Bishkek.
An incomprehensible situation remains around the status of the Russian language. At present, it is official in the republic, it hosts meetings of the government and parliament. But more and more often the appeals of individual parties to the revival of the Kyrgyz language and the rejection of the Russian sound. As a rule, such slogans use opposition or little-known parties to increase popularity. This suggests that the nationalistic sentiments in the republic have the support of the population. It is alarming that once again the issue of the status of the Russian language was raised on the eve of a nationwide discussion of the draft of the new Constitution.
It would seem that, under difficult conditions, the Russians should unite and support each other. But as such, there is no single Russian diaspora in the republic. Our interlocutor Vladimir sadly says: “The Russians in the republic live in isolation, unlike the same Chechens who live with one big family, and moreover, to look loyal in the eyes of the titular nation, other Russians are ready to simply tear apart each other.”
Political scientist Alexander Knyazev said during his meeting that he was in a hurry to settle a deal to sell a house in Bishkek. He is transporting his mother to Almaty. This is a new trend of migration of local Russians – they are traveling to a more prosperous Kazakhstan. “Today, the Russians in Kyrgyzstan no longer feel themselves as a single nation with Russians in Russia, yet they lived in different conditions for fifteen years,” says A. Knyazev. “Therefore, moving to a” more understandable “for them Kazakhstan is not associated with such great stress and dangers like moving to Russia, because many of those who migrated before could not get settled in Russia and were forced to return back to Kyrgyzstan, starting all over again. ” Vladimir Prikhodko confirms these words: “I can hardly imagine my life in Russia, and what place can I take there.” For me, Russia sounds strange, strange country, where, under certain conditions, I can become Vladimir Nikolaevich. In Kyrgyzstan it is important to know the local language and have many connections. ”
Of course, the Slav population of the republic is not so deplorable as, for example, in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. Almost all Russian federal channels are broadcast on the territory of the republic. 70 percent of the press is published in Russian. Successfully working in Bishkek Russian Drama Theater. It still remains the most popular theater establishment. Zoya Andreyevna, administrator of the theater, says: “Empty seats in our theater are a rarity, and tickets must be bought for premieres long before the performance.” Frequent guests in our theater and Kirghiz. ” By the way, tickets for performances are cheap even by local standards, from 30 to 50 soms (about 1.5 dollars).
Bishkek, considered to be one of the most Europeanized cities of Central Asia since Soviet times, remains a place where Russians can live relatively peacefully, without fear that their house will be burned or robbed “because of the color of their skin.”
But despite the fact that some Kyrgyz politicians, including the prime minister, Felix Kulov, in their statements try to emphasize the equality of national minorities in the republic with the title one. So at one of the press conferences, the prime minister expressed his dissatisfaction with the passivity of the Russian population in the public and political life of the republic. Real steps in this direction are not observed by the leadership of the republic.
According to experts, the situation with the Slavic population in Kyrgyzstan will soon be similar to what is happening in Tajikistan. As the political scientist A. Knyazev says: “In this republic, all the Russians who could leave have left the republic.” Alcoholics and homeless people, yes, the elderly. “The image of Russia from such representation is very much suffering: Russia must stop playing the map of the Russian population in the CIS republics, people should not be hostages to foreign policy, because those who stayed in the former Soviet republics are a very active, educated mobile part of society that is more needed today in Russia, where there is a shortage of labor. ”
According to the representation of the FMS in Kyrgyzstan, there are about 600,000 people of the Slavic population, among them about half a million Russians. In other republics of the CIS, according to various sources, up to 20 million Russians live today.
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S.Pritchin: The Russians are leaving again. It’s impossible to live in Kyrgyzstan.